INMO describes Beaumont Hospital as a 'war zone' due to overcrowding
The INMO has called for Beaumont Hospital in Dublin to be closed to new patients until the severe overcrowding and staff levels are resolved.
INMO spokesperson Lorraine Monaghan was on Morning Ireland to discuss the situation and she described the hospital as being akin to a 'war zone'.
Monaghan said: 'Ambulances have been backed up outside Beaumont Hospital because there haven't been trolleys available to take patients. Patients within the department are on trolleys and chairs for days on end with no privacy, no dignity.
'They are crammed together and they are mainly elderly patients. These are patients who are very dependent, in many cases confused, and there is very little space in between those trolleys and chairs to provide care. It is like a war zone.'
The recent overcrowding can be attributed to the recent closure, for refurbishment, of a transplant ward, meaning 33 beds were lost. That overflow has hit the rest of the hospital hard and while Beaumont say that community beds will be available soon to allow some patients to be discharged, freeing space, Monaghan says the staff had warned them.
'This situation was predictable. The timing was wrong. There was no contingency plan, no back up. It wasn't a case they had secured access to 33 beds in the community to move on delayed discharge patients. We warned management this would spell disaster but it fell on deaf ears.'
And Monaghan said she didn't believe the promises about extra community beds from management.
'We've been hearing that for the past four months,' she said. 'There has been no progress. We were told about extra community beds when the beds closed but that was five weeks now. That provides little comfort for patients where conditions are like a war zone.
'The staff are at breaking point, faced with unmanagable workloads. It was bad planning, It should never have happened.'
Monaghan has also called for the hospital to be closed to new patients immediately.
'Beaumont should have gone off call and ambulances should be diverted to other hospitals for an extended period until the situation is back under control. To be honest, it is hard to believe that they haven't done this already. It is purely negligence.'